Gov. Noem Signs Tax Holiday

Gov. Noem Signs Tax Holiday

PIERRE, S.D. – Today, Governor Kristi Noem signed HB 1137 to give South Dakotans a tax holiday. She wrote a signing letter to the legislature, which can be found here.

“The people of South Dakota deserve relief from burdensome regulations and inflation inflicted by the federal government,” Governor Noem wrote in her letter. “While our state enjoys the strongest economy in the nation, the lowest unemployment, and unprecedented economic growth, we also recognize that these blessings are a result of embracing liberty and personal responsibility.”

Freedom generated these historic revenues, and the people should have the Freedom to spend their own money without government intervention.

“Our people deserve permanent tax relief. The legislature has instead offered them a tax holiday for four years,” continued Governor Noem. “It is clear they wish to raise taxes again in the near future, and the method through which they have written this legislation allows them to do so without ever having to take another vote.”

Public sentiment has shown that South Dakotans want a permanent tax cut – and that is what they deserve.

“While this legislation is not ideal or the best way to help the people of South Dakota, I recognize that the legislature has chosen this path, and some help, albeit temporary, for our people is better than none at all. Public sentiment has shown that South Dakotans want a permanent tax cut. The legislature has failed in that regard, but I promise to continue to work with them in the future to do what is right for our state … Here, my honor and good sense require me to continue to fight for the permanent tax cut the people have earned,” concluded Governor Noem.

Governor Noem has signed 171 bills into law and vetoed four this legislative session.


Congressman Dusty Johnson Named Most Effective House Republican on Agriculture

Johnson Named Most Effective House Republican on Agriculture

 Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) was named the most effective House Republican in the area of Agriculture by the Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL). Johnson received the same rank during the 116th Congress. He was also named the 14th most effective lawmaker out of 222 House Republicans.

Johnson received the following ranks:

  • 14th most effective House Republican
  • Most effective House Republican for agriculture issues
  • 5th most effective House Republican for transportation issues
  • 5th most effective House Republican for public lands issues
  • 9th most effective House Republican for Native American issues

“Agriculture is the top industry in South Dakota. My focused efforts to represent our producers well have delivered results to the industry,” said Johnson. “I’m proud to be named the top House Republican in Agriculture policy and will continue to work hard for South Dakota.”

Read more about the CEL 117th Congress Legislative Effectiveness Scores here.


US Senator John Thune: Regulations Have Consequences

Regulations Have Consequences
By Sen. John Thune

Government regulations don’t always grab headlines, but they often cause unnecessary headaches for small businesses, farmers, and ranchers. The Biden administration has made aggressive use of its regulatory power, pushing through measures that will collectively saddle Americans with $360 billion in compliance costs and 220 million hours of paperwork. These numbers are a reminder that regulations have consequences that ripple throughout our economy.

Regulations often have an outsized impact on small businesses. Take, for instance, the Biden administration’s proposal to require federal contractors to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions and, in some cases, related emissions from their customers, over which they have no control. If implemented, thousands of small businesses would be affected by this rule and forced to spend valuable time and money just to continue doing business with the federal government. Another rule from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would threaten small trucking companies with up to $8,300 in additional costs per truck. A similar rule over a decade ago pushed many smaller trucking operations out of business. This would be problematic at any time, but is especially concerning amid supply chain problems nationwide and sustained inflation.

The Biden EPA has also resurrected the Obama-era Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, which would give the federal government sweeping jurisdiction over most bodies of water on private property, like certain ditches, and even prairie potholes. Landowners could face hundreds of thousands of dollars in compliance costs and see the value of their land plummet because of this extension of red tape to farms and ranches. I continue to support efforts to stop WOTUS, and related EPA overreach, through the Congressional Review Act process and the Supreme Court.

President Biden has also used the long arm of executive action to throttle back conventional energy production, starting with cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline and pausing energy development on federal lands during his first week in office. Last year, the president rolled back regulatory reforms that had streamlined permitting processes for energy projects, and he increased fees on oil production. And just recently, President Biden undercut the approval of one development project by significantly restricting drilling for oil in the Arctic.

Fortunately, the president’s regulatory power is not unchecked, and congressional Republicans are using our authority under the Congressional Review Act to overturn burdensome regulations. We face an uphill battle, but Republicans have notched some noteworthy wins and remain committed to protecting the American people from these problematic regulations. I also recently introduced legislation to help prevent economically damaging regulations from going into effect in the first place. The Regulatory Transparency Act would require a more transparent and objective analysis of a regulation’s impact, and it would require agencies to consider less burdensome options of achieving the same goal.

Regulations have consequences, and the Biden administration’s use of the regulatory system to advance its agenda will continue to have negative impacts that ripple throughout our economy and our country. I’ll continue to push back against damaging regulations and work to provide regulatory relief for our small businesses, farmers, and ranchers.


Congressman Dusty Johnson: Tightening SNAP work requirements lift Americans out of poverty and away from dependence

By Rep. Dusty Johnson
March 17, 2023
The Hill

I was that kid on food stamps—I know firsthand how government assistance can both help and hurt. Education, training, and work provide dignity and economic opportunity. Too many Americans are on the sidelines while we are facing a record labor shortage.

We have the jobs, but we don’t have the people to fill them. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to this problem, but there are policy areas where government is hurting, rather than helping Americans re-enter the workforce.

During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government waived all existing work requirements for government assistance programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). In the fog of war, this made sense. Government was right to not stand in the way of getting food benefits to Americans who lost their jobs because of the pandemic—quickly.

However, we are three years removed from 2020 and these blanket waivers have gone on far too long. Long before the pandemic, work requirements for welfare programs like SNAP had been abused. As we approach the end of the COVID-19 Emergency Authorization and previous laws go back into effect, it’s past time for reform. It’s time for my bill, the America Works Act.

Under existing law, Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs) are required to work or participate in work-related training or education for at least 20 hours per week in order to receive SNAP benefits. Unfortunately, states have long abused waivers for ABAWDs that allow them to suspend these very modest work requirements.

When the idea of work requirements gets brought up in Congress, many of my colleagues on the other side are quick to call out Republicans for seeking to take away benefits from single mothers with young children and disabled Americans—that is not accurate.

1.36 million ABAWD households recorded zero gross income in 2020—if you have no children, no disabilities, no dependents, and no job—what are you doing with your day? People who can work, should work. Especially if they expect to receive government assistance.

The America Works Act is simple. It restores the integrity of the SNAP state exemption waiver process by repealing language where the United States Department of Agriculture can simply grant a waiver for work requirements if a state “believes” it doesn’t have enough jobs to provide employment to an individual. There are nearly 11 million open jobs in the United States, I’d challenge any state to prove with data the “belief” that they can’t find an American a job.  Additionally, states can currently roll over their waivers from year to year. This has allowed states to rack up thousands of waivers, further abusing the program—my bill removes this rollover provision.

The America Works Act also changes age eligibility for SNAP waivers. Currently, if you are over 49 years old, you can receive SNAP benefits with no need for a waiver. As I approach 49 years old, I know I still have decades left of work ahead of me. My bill changes the maximum age rate of an ABAWD to be 65 years old, consistent with retirement and Medicare age.

Finally, the America Works Act limits the provision that exempts ABAWDs from work requirements if they have any dependent children to if they have any dependent children under the age of seven years old. By seven years old a child is in school nearly 35 hours a week. If a child can go to school nearly full-time, a parent with no other children under the age of seven can work 20 hours per week.

This bill is commonsense—and it continues to leave waivers in place for areas with certain levels of unemployment.

As Congress weighs solutions to our labor crisis, record government spending, and work requirements in the 2023 Farm Bill, I hope the America Works Act is strongly considered as a solution to lift Americans out of poverty and encourage work rather than government dependence.


Governor Kristi Noem’s Weekly Column: Preserving Agriculture, Preserving Patriotism

Preserving Agriculture, Preserving Patriotism
By: Governor Kristi Noem
March 17, 2023

I talk a lot about the American Dream. Unfortunately, that’s unusual these days. To me, the American Dream was an ideal that was embedded in my heart since I was a child. I think that had a lot to do with growing up on the farm. It was tough work, but one of the best lessons my parents taught us kids was that life isn’t easy.

The road to success isn’t paved by anyone but yourself. Sure, others can help – but you have to work hard to attain it yourself. There is something so inherently American about being self-taught and self-starting – about making decisions and solving problems as you go. As my dad always said, “we don’t complain about things, we fix them.”

That’s the mindset of so many of our farmers across the state of South Dakota. Their job is tiring, it’s often thankless, but they still get up every single morning and get to work. Our farmers show what South Dakota grit and grind is all about. They’re some of the hardest workers I know. And I figure the least I can do is protect their industry.

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Travis Mockler, a local ag producer near Centerville, South Dakota. Travis grew his independent farming operation into a diversified farming enterprise where he raises corn, soybeans, alfalfa, and stock cows, in addition to providing a custom haying service.

Folks like Travis truly embody the American Dream. But that success comes with its own challenges. Travis’ ag operation was previously sued by a liberal activist group with a nuisance complaint. Fortunately, he was able to get back on his feet. I want to prevent South Dakota farmers from having to endure those kinds of struggles in the future.

That’s why I signed legislation to preserve agriculture in South Dakota. This new law will keep our farmers protected from frivolous claims that can delay development and increase costs for producers.

South Dakota farmers have built ag into a $32 billion industry. It accounts for one in every five jobs in the state. We need to make sure we can pass this thriving industry down to our kids and grandkids. That’s why This legislation is so important to preserve the future of agriculture.

I hope that future generations can learn the same lessons that my parents taught me on the farm – that our rural way of life continues to instill the value of building the American Dream in so many young hearts. In my experience, I have come to find that preserving agriculture also preserves patriotism. And we need a whole lot of both of those nowadays.

Growing up, I always thought God must really love farmers. Just look at how often sowing and reaping are mentioned in the Bible. Now, I’m more convinced than ever that’s true. It does take incredible faith to be in a profession where so much is out of your control. South Dakota farmers are literally feeding America – and the world – every single day. And when I look at our state’s rolling hills and ag land and think about the hard work of our people, I’m sure that God has a hand in it all.



Gov. Noem Signs Prison Funding and Criminal Justice Bills into Law

Gov. Noem Signs Prison Funding and Criminal Justice Bills into Law

 PIERRE, S.D. – Today, Governor Noem signed HB 1016, which funds $60 million for construction of a new women’s prison in Rapid City. She also signed HB 1017, which funds $52 million for the purchase of land and design costs for a new men’s prison near Sioux Falls. The legislation also transfers more than $270 million to the Incarceration Construction Fund for future construction of the men’s prison.

“Funding new prisons is a public safety issue,” said Governor Noem. “Last year, we made the point to legislators that this was necessary. I’m glad that just a year later, they have come to agree and appropriately prioritized the security of South Dakotans.”

When including the budget bills signed earlier today, South Dakota is investing $391 million in the state’s prison system this legislative session.

Governor Noem also signed the following 10 criminal justice bills into law:

  • SB 4 – Modifies a court’s authority to commit a habitual juvenile offender to the Department of Corrections;
  • SB 51 – Revises certain provisions regarding the reimbursement of county expenses in detaining parole violators;
  • SB 53 – Exempts records regarding jail inmate disciplinary matters from public inspection and copying;
  • SB 64 – Repeals provisions related to the jail mental health screening pilot program and oversight council;
  • SB 70 – Revises provisions related to courtroom modifications for child witnesses;
  • SB 90 – Provides certain definitions related to the crime of rape;
  • SB 91 – Revises certain provisions regarding the crime of rape and provides a penalty therefor;
  • SB 146 – Limits parole for violent offenders;
  • SB 168 – Authorizes a board of a school district to adopt policies regarding students who are registered sex offenders; and,
  • HB 1170 – Establishes mandatory sentences for certain driving while under the influence violations.

Governor Noem has signed 170 bills into law and vetoed four this legislative session.


Gov. Noem Signs Budget Bills into Law

Gov. Noem Signs Budget Bills into Law

 PIERRE, S.D. – Today, Governor Noem signed SB 210 into law. She sent a signing letter to legislators. That letter can be found here.

“I appreciate the work of my BFM Commissioner Jim Terwilliger and the BFM team on this budget,” said Governor Noem, “and I appreciate the legislature for recognizing that it should fund my administration’s priorities to maximize freedom and liberty for the people of the state.”

This budget for Fiscal Year 2024 will fund important South Dakota needs including K-12 education, healthcare providers, and state employees. It also includes funding for the operation of regional behavioral health centers, 100% tuition assistance for our National Guard soldiers, and targeted increases for our state employee workforce and community service providers.

Governor Noem also signed the following three budget bills into law:

  • SB 16 – Makes an appropriation to rehabilitate the rail line form the city of Milbank to the city of Sisseton;
  • SB 24 – Revises property tax levies for school districts and revises the state aid to general and special education formulas; and,
  • HB 1049 – Revises the General Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2023.

Governor Noem has signed 158 bills into law and vetoed four this legislative session.


Attorney General Jackley Releases Final Explanations for Proposed “Top Two Primary” Constitutional Amendment

Attorney General Jackley Releases Final Explanations for Proposed “Top Two Primary” Constitutional Amendment

 PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley has released the final ballot explanation for a proposed constitutional amendment regarding top two primary elections.

Language for the constitutional amendment can be found here. The constitutional amendment will be placed on the 2024 general ballot. A majority of the votes cast in the general election will be needed to pass the measure.

The Attorney General’s explanation was drafted after a review of all the comments received during the proposed amendment’s 10-day comment period. A total of 29 comments were received.

State law requires the Attorney General to draft a title and explanation for each initiated measure, initiated constitutional amendment, constitutional amendment proposed by the Legislature, or referred measure that may appear on an election ballot. The Attorney General must remain neutral when drafting explanations for all such proposed measures.

Joe Kirby of Sioux Falls was the prime sponsor of the proposed amendment.

For more information regarding ballot measures, please visit the Secretary of State’s website.


Gov. Noem Signs Workforce Bills into Law

Gov. Noem Signs Workforce Bills into Law

PIERRE, S.D. – Today, Governor Noem signed six bills to enhance South Dakota’s workforce. Earlier this legislative session, Governor Kristi Noem signed SB 76 into law, which enhanced workforce freedom by recognizing out-of-state licenses for nearly every profession.

“South Dakota has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation, but we still have 25,000 open jobs,” Governor Noem said. “We’re tackling this workforce shortage head-on. And we’re making it easier for those moving here to pursue the American Dream to join our booming economy.”

The six workforce bills that Governor Noem signed include:

  • SB 59 – Makes an appropriation to the Department of Education for grants to support career and technical education programs;
  • SB 173 – Makes an appropriation for design costs related to the new Lincoln Hall at Northern State University;
  • HB 1059 – Establishes a community paramedic endorsement;
  • HB 1153 – Updates travel expenses, moving expenses, and other reimbursements;
  • HB 1183 – Authorizes the state’s participation in the interstate compact on occupational therapy licensure; and,
  • HB 1185 – Prohibits certain restrictions in employment contracts.

Governor Noem has signed 154 bills into law and vetoed four this legislative session.


Gov. Noem Signs Tuition Reimbursement for Members of the SDNG and Other Bills to Help South Dakota’s Military and Veterans into Law

Gov. Noem Signs Tuition Reimbursement for Members of the SDNG and Other Bills to Help South Dakota’s Military and Veterans into Law


PIERRE, S.D. – Today, Governor Noem signed HB 1039, which provides 100% tuition reimbursement for members of the South Dakota National Guard attending college in-state. You can find photos from the bill signing event here.

“The members of the South Dakota National Guard of some of the strongest and bravest men and women in the country. They have proven that time and time again,” said Governor Noem. “They’re the kind of folks we want to stay in South Dakota to earn an education, participate in our booming economy, and raise a family. This legislation will help them to do just that.”

Governor Noem also signed the following 2 bills to help South Dakota’s military and veterans into law:

  • HB 1045 – Increases the basic salary schedule for county veterans’ service officers; and,
  • HB 1065 – Increases the maximum amount of dollars payable by the state to erect the headstone of a deceased veteran.

Governor Noem has signed 145 bills into law and vetoed four this legislative session.